September 28th, 2009
12:49 PM ET
12 years ago

Whitman, Fiorina reject California GOP 'straw poll'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Meg Whitman, left, and Carly Fiorina lost in a straw poll conducted by rivals at the California GOP convention."](CNN) - Two Republican statewide candidates in California are touting the results of a state GOP convention straw poll that showed conservative activists overwhelmingly rejecting the gubernatorial bid of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and the likely Senate bid of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

The campaign of gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner boasted about his 64-point victory over Whitman in Sunday's straw poll on their Web site and on Twitter. Senate candidate Chuck DeVore's campaign touted their own dominating win over Fiorina - 91 percent to six percent - in a campaign e-mail celebrating their success at this weekend's Fall convention in Indian Wells.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee then jumped on the news of Fiorina's loss as a sign of tension within the California Republican ranks, and shopped the poll results to Washington reporters.

One problem: There was no official straw poll at the California Republican Party Convention.

"We did not conduct a straw poll at this convention whatsoever," California GOP chairman Ron Nehring said in an e-mail.

So who did? An aide to DeVore - a state Assemblyman who has actively courted the party's conservative wing as he prepares to battle Fiorina for the Republican Senate nomination - acknowledged that Sunday's poll was engineered by the DeVore campaign, even though it was described as a "CRP straw poll" in an e-mail to supporters.

"It was not connected to the party," said DeVore spokesman Joshua Trevino. "We printed up the ballots, and they were distributed on Saturday night."

Trevino said that about half of the convention's delegates participated in the straw poll.

He also noted that several Poizner supporters helped conduct the straw poll, but he said they did so in an unofficial capacity. That description was echoed by Poizner campaign spokesman Bettina Inclan, who said the the DeVore campaign engineered the effort.

Inclan, however, said the Poizner campaign had no plans to remove news of their straw poll win from their Web site.

Aides to Whitman and Fiorina were quick to reject the straw poll results.

"Promoting an unsanctioned and controlled 'poll' among a tiny universe of voters nine months out from Election Day has a whiff of desperation," Whitman spokesman Tucker Bounds said in an e-mail.

Fiorina spokeswoman Beth Miller was even more dismissive.

"Let me get this straight, you want me to comment on a Chuck DeVore straw poll that was conducted in the DeVore hospitality suite on Saturday night with a bunch of college Republicans and a lot of free beer flowing?," Miller asked.

UPDATE: Trevino added that the ballots were distributed throughout the convention, even if the ballot box itself was located in DeVore's suite. He said the ballots listed the candidates in alphabetical order.

Filed under: California • Carly Fiorina • Chuck DeVore • Meg Whitman • Popular Posts • Steve Poizner
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What's up with the "Failed" CEO's thinking they can run for public office? Fiorina drove HP into the ground and Whitman was killing small business as CEO of EBay. They're both losers!

    September 28, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Leanne, San Diego


    California is a BLUE STATE. Arnold slipped by because of Maria, but it will not happen again. So these ladies can duke it out, but in the end there will be a Democratic governor.

    September 28, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Pragmatic

    Republican candidates touting a poll that was not taken .... starting off with lies ... just how foolish do they think the voters are??? The technology allows everything to be "fact checked" and if your flub up on video tape ... its there forever ... shame on them for starting off on campaign founded on another republican set of lies.

    September 28, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    They'll both lose. Cali is a Blue state.
    Do these two broads not know this?

    September 28, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Jimmy

    Unfortunately this Welfare state is so blue, no REAL Republican could ever win and clean it up. We are stuck with the likes of Pelosi, Boxer and Feinstein.......all disasterous woman. Our next Governor will be another Tax and spend Democrat. This is the worst Gimme state and no business wants to stay in California........for very good reasons. Illegals, Unions and Welfare have driven this state to bankruptcy. The rest of the country should wake up and take notice, this is the future of America with the Liberals in charge.

    September 28, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |

    Both of these women are right wing nuts. and both were failures at their jobs. besides calf. is true blue.

    September 28, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Jane/Seattle

    One would be wise to ignore most polls as manipulation of voters and public opinion. It is well known that many of these polls, while some do extreme diligence (Gallop et al), some are just obfuscations. Peace

    September 28, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. yuri

    Politics is such a Machiavellian game that anybody w/ a chequered history apparently can muster ample adulations among their amicable sycophants and run for the office like there is no tomorrow.

    September 28, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  9. Jay T.

    Americans angrier than ever? That's what happens when you let loud-mouthed, Right Wing personalities report their biased opinions like it is news. The Sheeple will listen.

    September 28, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Not Drinking The Kook-Aide

    These ladies are good at making money for themselves. That's it. Meg should be ashamed of her voting record and should never darken the door of politics. Fiorina helped torpedo John McCain's run and should go someone and spend the millions that she made off the backs of average workers. These ladies must think they are Hillary. They're not.

    I am an Obamanot, but even Hillary looks good beside these women. As least Hillary had the guts to stick her neck out early. These Joanie-Come-Latelys are making a mockery of the hard fought road that Hillary took to be the first woman to break the glass ceiling.

    Meg and Flo, go home. No one thinks you can make a difference. Go shopping and leave serious voters alone.

    September 28, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Farrell in Houston

    These two women have almost the same resume as GWB who also failed at everything until in the GOP's infinite wisdom he became president and failed again. I wouldn't let the GOP vote for dog catcher of the year.

    September 28, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. MArtin

    I know CA is a blue state. The one embarrassment we have in our past is that fool Reagan.

    September 28, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  13. J.L.

    And not wanting to point out the obvious... but they're women and we are talking about the Republican party??? You know the part of old rich white guys... a party stuck in the 1950's mentality of what the US "should" be.

    September 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  14. Ted Tartaglia

    Regardless of who took the pole, it still shows that California Repubs do not want two failed executives as candidates for office. As far as serious candidates, Whitman and Fiorna are an example of what is wrong with corporate America. Does anyone, besides themselves, think these two losers are qualified for elective office?

    September 28, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Haas

    California, well really. what can one say. Hows your state budget doing? Now when the average family botches its financies well they are evicted from their home, children possibly taken away from them, and the family doesnt eat. Well Califonias You better listen up. If you cant keep your state running with out dipping into others state money well then your worthless, no worse than worseless because you will want to take from those who were more responsible than YOU. You are like a friend who spends all their money (and I don't care if they are good things) then turn into a leech for the rest of us who are grown up and responsible. Oh and by the way don't you have a mass exodus of your brightest and wealthiest? Gee wonder why. So instead of critizing the richest and brightest maybe you should try and learn from them. Otherwise we should cut California loose from the union and all those who are bling to the truth can go live their, in their paradise of loser.

    September 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Paulies

    LOSERS, LOSERS Fiorina & Whitman. You are waisting your time. Why don't you both ask Sarah Palin join you. LOSERS, LOSERS.

    September 28, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Steve, New York City

    I am not particularly certain that I'd agree with many of Carly Fiorina's viewpoints . . .but for what it's worth, she's definitely smart (and BOY – what a cutie)!!

    September 28, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |

    These two women are trying TO MAKE a name FOR themselves, not " to do good for the American Voters " ! They should back off and go about their own business. Leave politics for the CROOKS and for those " brave HONEST individulas " that have the BEST INTERESTS of the American people and our country at heart.
    I believe there are a few of these brave HONEST individuals out there.
    They just have to step up to the plate and get in the NEWS and we will vote them in. What we need here is TERM LIMITS. We need to have the people we vote for accountable to us and the only way that will work is TERM LIMITS.
    Enough of these politicians getting in and collecting our money for the rest of their useless lives. Let's get these monkeys off our backs.

    September 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. o.Dotson

    How can anyone with the record of those two even consider running.
    I suppose it's good for the Dems-Because this will return the Governorship back to the Dems.

    September 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  20. bob in LA

    More misinformation from thier party. GOP- SOP

    September 28, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. John

    These two are unqualified to enter politics at the state level. Frankly they ruined the firms they lead at one time. Just talk to any employee at HP or ebay and you will hear the turth about lost benefits, careers ruined and layoffs.
    If they are truly interested in politics get involved at the local level. Run for the Board of Ed, local council or Mayor. Get some real goverment experience working with and for ordinary folks. Not just the bankers lawyers, well connected and wealthy. If they do well, get relected perhaps then can they aspire to state of Fed positions.

    September 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. notnowmooky

    Good idea Devore. Start your campaign with shenanigans. That aught to work out real well for you!

    September 28, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Ren from Baltimore

    Whitman proved herself, big time, at eBay. Honest and wise in back-room politics and business both, much needed in CA.

    Fiorina came to HP at an extremely bad time, and took the company to extremely poor performance. Then she famously told the truth during the last campaign: Politics is nothing like running a huge, multi-national company. In support of Palin, as I recall. Ouch.

    Both extremely gifted!

    September 28, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  24. Curious

    Carly is to California as Palin is to New York.
    Not likely to happen.

    September 28, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Bush's "Suck"cess: My Pet Goat, Mission Accomplished & Heckuva Job Brownie

    Just like the two of them ignore the FACT that they both drove the companies of which they were CEOs into the ground.

    September 28, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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